Sometimes it’s fun to go down memory lane and relive the past. Looking at this photo really takes me back. Sorry it’s so blurry, I had to scan it.
In the photo above, I was a college senior. So it took me seven years, still a college senior. That large thing in front of me is called an electric typewriter. It predates the computer. I was using it to type out a research paper for one of my classes, I forget which one. I am not good at saving things, so that paper and all my papers are long gone. The fashionable, Hanes, hand-painted-by-me sweatshirt and coordinated sweat pants were my regular uniform in those days. Comfort over style! The couch was donated by someone and the brown sling chair was brought from my parents house. I was living in an efficiency apartment in Austin. It was half living room, half bedroom, no door between them. I had a Nintendo 64 on which I played the Legend of Zelda for many hours.
I lived north of 183 and my classes were at U.T. quite a few miles away and I would often drive to the park and ride and then take the free Metro bus to campus. I remember once I was on the bus and some thuggish-looking young men were riding and I casually chatted with them as if I was immune to any danger. No damage done. I just remember that I felt like if I was nice, they would be nice. They were, but I wonder what they were thinking.
I don’t remember what my classes were that last year but they were senior classes so I’m sure they were not easy. Little known fact, I love school. I would go back in a heartbeat if I didn’t have so many other responsibilities. I’d love to get another degree or a masters in whatever. I just enjoy the atmosphere of learning and curiosity. U.T. had a wonderful library! This was before the age of the internet. We had real books and a card catalog and microfiche and very primitive computers.
My freshman year was one of the greatest times of my life. I need to remember to thank my mother for all her efforts to make it happen. My saintly mother who put up with my high school shenanigans! I lived in Jester dorm on campus in a tiny room with a communal bathroom and TV room. I remember religiously watching soap operas with other students, All My Children ,One Life to Live and General Hospital in that big room, but never talking to other people. There was a cafeteria in the building, but I often ate fast food around campus, especially at McDonalds and Wendy’s. I remember my books were heavy, I had trouble getting to class on time, and the campus was enormous! In those days there 50,000 students at U.T., the size of a major city!
Austin was a small town in the ’80s. I consider myself among the blessed to have lived there back before the current tech boom. Driving out into the hilly undeveloped areas around town was one of my favorite ways to waste time. Climbing Mt. Bonnell and going out to Hippie Hollow on weekends was a tradition. I still love the hills in northwest Austin, but to get to them nowadays requires getting through much traffic.
On weekends I’d walk or drive to 6th Street or other hot spots with friends. It wasn’t like it is now, Austin was known for it’s live music , but there were not as many places to choose from and less crime. On campus we sometimes had live bands , and Austin City Limits was filmed there. I was very into reggae in those years and I remember seeing The Killer Bees live, as well as The Go-Gos and um, I forget who else. It was a long time ago after all.
My Christian life was somewhat submerged underneath my college experience. I attended Hyde Park Baptist occasionally and maybe some other place, I forget, but I was also in the NOW, and Young Democrats. It was a crazy, idealistic time. I’ll never forget at one NOW meeting where they where talking about DIY female health exams. That was a mind blower for a young college student! I do remember getting a bad feeling at those NOW meetings and I stopped going. The Holy Spirit was always with me. God was with me. He let me go only so far. I was still his child.
But we must live in the present and the present is that I am too old and too busy for school. I had my years of college and now I must let the young people enjoy their college years.